Toa Samoa Captain Bestowed a Matai Title from Safotu Savaii

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Toa Samoa captain Junior Paulo has been bestowed the title of Peseta Tamalelagi by his family in Safotu Savaii.

The event was captured in beautiful images posted by family members as well as the Executive of Rugby League Samoa, who attended the event during the team’s trip across to the Big Island of Savaii.

Members of the Safotu family living overseas were able to follow the matai bestowal on live posts on social media.

Tufaasisina Lucia Chan Kay posted photos of the Toa Samoa Captain with family members before the event.

Toa Samoa Captain with family before the ceremony. Photos posted by Tuifaasisina Lucia Chan Kay.

“Greatful for social media even though we cannot attend this event, but was able to watch it live..

“Congratulations to my Sister Filomena and Peseta Vilo Paulo. Malo tapena ua maea le faamolemole ma le manuia..

“So happy to watch as our son got bestowed the title in Safotu Savaii Samoa “Peseta Tamalelagi” to our Skipper Captain of Toa Samoa Junior Paulo.🙏❤️❤️

Several Toa Samoa players were given the honour by families in Samoa including the Toa Samoa Head Coach Matt Parish who received an Honorary title Mauāpule from the village of Fatausi Savaii.

Kalma Tuilagi who is from Fatausi Savaii was bestowed the high chiefly title of the district, Oloipola.

High Chief of Safotulafai Lauaki Fereti Tuilagi with Mauāpule Matt Parish and Oloipola Kelvin Tuilagi. Photos: Rugby League Samoa.

Joseph Sualii was the first to arrive into Samoa and the first to be bestowed a title. He has since received two titles during his trip to Samoa.

Sualii received the Anavaotaua title from Satitoa village in the district of Aleipata and on the 2nd of January, his mother’s side of the family from the village of Letogo bestowed upon him the title of To’oto’o o Alii. 

Joseph Sualii was given two matai titles during his trip to Samoa. One from each of his parents’ sides of the family. Photos: Rugby League Samoa.

Members of the Toa Samoa spent six days in Samoa, at the Return to Paradise Resort in Matautu Lefaga.

The team’s schedule was jam packed with events including a parade in Apia, a thanksgiving prayer at the historic Mulivai Cathedral, a government hosted dinner at Taumeasina Island Resort where they each received $5k tala, and a trip across to Savaii.


Daniel M Limā